With the advent of more scrutiny on city police and the policies regarding minorities and hiring practices within the police force San Francisco can add its name to the growing list of police departments embroiled in controversy. In March 2016 former president of the Police Officers Association Gary Delagnes submitted a sworn declaration that George Gascon has made racist remarks during private dinners with police union representatives and other misdeeds. Delagnes has spent over two decades on the police force and was the POA president for 9 years, working closely with Delagnes.
In the sworn declaration submitted to the blue ribbon task force that was created by Gascon, Delagnes writes that in a 2010 dinner Gascon made such disparaging remarks that another guest approached the table to request that Gascon stop. Current POA president Martin Halloran has backed all allegations that Delagnes has made to the committee. Both Halloran and Delagnes agreed to testify if the charges were brought to a committee.
Delagnes said that what prompted him to finally speak out was Gascon’s own speech regarding the dismal state of the police departments. During his tenure as POA president Delagnes noted that of the numerous meetings with Gascon he never mentioned initiatives or concerns regarding diversity or biases within the policing system. Delagnes also notes that the hiring practices within the police force under Gascon has been biased toward hiring people who have attended local Catholic schools. Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, has not directly responded to Delagnes’ charges.
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